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Adjacent Words

sprocket wheel
sprouting broccoli
spruce bark beetle
spruce beer
spruce budworm
spruce gall aphid
spruce grouse
Spruce leather
Spruce partridge
spruce pine
spruce squirrel
spruce up

Spruce definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

SPRUCE, a. Nice; trim; neat without elegance or dignity; formerly applied to things with a serious meaning; now applied to persons only.
He is so spruce, that he never can be genteel.
SPRUCE, v.t. To trim; to dress with great neatness.
SPRUCE, v.i. To dress ones self with affected neatness.
SPRUCE, n. The fir-tree; a name given to a species of evergreen, the Pinus nigra, which is used in families to give flavor to beer. It is used by way of decoction, or in the essence.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners; "a dapper young man"; "a jaunty red hat" [syn: dapper, dashing, jaunty, natty, raffish, rakish, spiffy, snappy, spruce] n
1: light soft moderately strong wood of spruce trees; used especially for timbers and millwork
2: any coniferous tree of the genus Picea v
1: make neat, smart, or trim; "Spruce up your house for Spring"; "titivate the child" [syn: spruce up, spruce, titivate, tittivate, smarten up, slick up, spiff up]
2: dress and groom with particular care, as for a special occasion; "He spruced up for the party" [syn: spruce up, spruce, slick up, smarten up]

Merriam Webster's

I. verb (spruced; sprucing) Date: 1594 transitive verb to make spruce often used with up intransitive verb to make oneself spruce <spruce up a bit> II. adjective (sprucer; sprucest) Etymology: perhaps from obsolete English Spruce leather leather imported from Prussia Date: 1599 neat or smart in appearance ; trim sprucely adverb spruceness noun III. noun (plural spruces; also spruce) Etymology: obsolete Spruce Prussia, from Middle English, alteration of Pruce, from Anglo-French Date: 1670 1. a. any of a genus (Picea) of evergreen trees of the pine family with a conical head of dense foliage, flat or 4-sided needles, pendulous cones, and soft light wood b. any of several coniferous trees (as Douglas fir) of similar habit 2. the wood of a spruce

Britannica Concise

Any of about 40 species of evergreen ornamental and timber trees that make up the genus Picea (pine family), native to temperate and cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere. These pyramid-shaped trees have whorled branches and thin, scaly bark. The needlelike, spirally arranged leaves connect to their stems via a peglike woody base, which remains on the twig when the leaf falls. Tough, finely grained, resonant, and pliable, spruce wood is used for sounding boards in pianos and bodies of violins, as well as in construction, for boats and barrels, and as pulpwood. Common species throughout most of N N. America are black spruce (P. mariana), a source of spruce gum, and white spruce (P. glauca), a source of good timber. Blue, or Colorado spruce (P. pungens) is used as an ornamental because of its bluish leaves and symmetrical growth habit.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

1. adj. & v. --adj. neat in dress and appearance; trim, smart. --v.tr. & intr. (also refl.; usu. foll. by up) make or become smart. Derivatives: sprucely adv. spruceness n. Etymology: perh. f. SPRUCE(2) in obs. sense 'Prussian', in the collocation spruce (leather) jerkin 2. n. 1 any coniferous tree of the genus Picea, with dense foliage growing in a distinctive conical shape. 2 the wood of this tree used as timber. Phrases and idioms: spruce beer a fermented beverage using spruce twigs and needles as flavouring. Etymology: alt. of obs. Pruce Prussia: cf. PRUSSIAN 3. v. Brit. sl. 1 tr. deceive. 2 intr. lie, practise deception. 3 intr. evade a duty, malinger. Derivatives: sprucer n. Etymology: 20th c.: orig. unkn.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Spruce Spruce, a. [Compar. Sprucer; superl. Sprucest] [Perhaps fr. spruce a sort of leather from Prussia, which was an article of finery. See Spruce, n.] 1. Neat, without elegance or dignity; -- formerly applied to things with a serious meaning; now chiefly applied to persons. ``Neat and spruce array.'' --Remedy of Love. 2. Sprightly; dashing. [Obs.] ``Now, my spruce companions.'' --Shak. He is so spruce that he can never be genteel. --Tatler. Syn: Finical; neat; trim. See Finical. -- Sruce"ly, adv. -- Spruce"ness, n.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Spruce Spruce, n. [OE. Spruce or Pruse, Prussia, Prussian. So named because it was first known as a native of Prussia, or because its sprouts were used for making, spruce beer. Cf. Spruce beer, below, Spruce, a.] 1. (Bot.) Any coniferous tree of the genus Picea, as the Norway spruce (P. excelsa), and the white and black spruces of America (P. alba and P. nigra), besides several others in the far Northwest. See Picea. 2. The wood or timber of the spruce tree. 3. Prussia leather; pruce. [Obs.] Spruce, a sort of leather corruptly so called for Prussia leather. --E. Phillips. Douglas spruce (Bot.), a valuable timber tree (Pseudotsuga Douglasii) of Northwestern America. Essence of spruce, a thick, dark-colored, bitterish, and acidulous liquid made by evaporating a decoction of the young branches of spruce. Hemlock spruce (Bot.), a graceful coniferous tree (Tsuga Canadensis) of North America. Its timber is valuable, and the bark is largely used in tanning leather. Spruce beer. [G. sprossenbier; sprosse sprout, shoot (akin to E. sprout, n.) + bier beer. The word was changed into spruce because the beer came from Prussia (OE. Spruce), or because it was made from the sprouts of the spruce. See Sprout, n., Beer, and cf. Spruce, n.] A kind of beer which is tinctured or flavored with spruce, either by means of the extract or by decoction. Spruce grouse. (Zo["o]l.) Same as Spruce partridge, below. Spruce leather. See Spruce, n., 3. Spruce partridge (Zo["o]l.), a handsome American grouse (Dendragapus Canadensis) found in Canada and the Northern United States; -- called also Canada grouse.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Spruce Spruce, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spruced; p. pr. & vb. n. Sprucing.] To dress with affected neatness; to trim; to make spruce.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Spruce Spruce, v. i. To dress one's self with affected neatness; as, to spruce up.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(spruce, spruces, sprucing, spruced) 1. A spruce is a kind of evergreen tree. Trees such as spruce, pine and oak have been planted. ...a young blue spruce. ...80-year-old spruces. N-VAR Spruce is the wood from this tree. Early settlers built frames of spruce, maple and pine. 2. Someone who is spruce is very neat and smart in appearance. Chris was looking spruce in his stiff-collared black shirt and new short hair cut. ADJ

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. a. Neat (without elegance), trim, nice, trig, fine, finical, smart, jaunty, natty, foppish, dandyish, tidy, smug. II. v. n. Prink, dress finically. III. v. a. Trim, deck, dress.

Moby Thesaurus

anal, bandbox, bowdlerized, braw, chic, classy, clean up, cleaned, cleaned up, cleansed, clothes-conscious, cosmopolitan, dapper, dashing, dinky, doggy, dressed to advantage, dressed to kill, dressed up, elegant, en grande tenue, endimanche, expurgated, exquisite, genteel, gussied up, in full dress, in full feather, in high feather, in tails, jaunty, modish, natty, neat, nifty, nobby, posh, primp, purged, purified, recherche, refined, reformed, ritzy, sassy, sharp, shipshape, sleek, slick, slicked up, smart, smarten up, smug, snazzy, snug, soigne, soignee, sophisticated, spiffy, spruce up, straighten out, straighten up, style-conscious, stylish, swank, swanky, swell, tidy, tidy up, tight, titivate, tricksy, trig, trim, well turned-out, well-cared-for, well-dressed, well-groomed


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